The University of Queensland’s free online academic English course


About this course

A practical and introductory course to build your skills in academic writing.

ACE101x is a practical, completely online introductory course for those at university or planning to attend university. This course focuses on the processes involved in planning for, producing and self-reviewing a piece of academic writing. Particular attention is given to argumentative research essays, which are the most common form of academic writing required of students at university level.

This course examines the overall structure of an argumentative essay, considering a general framework that can be used for any topic. Practical advice is provided about how to brainstorm, locate information online and evaluate the quality of potential sources of information.

Learners will also be guided on how to use appropriate stance and voice in academic writing, how to ensure that the language and tone that is used is suitable to the context, and how to acknowledge the work of others through correct use of academic referencing. The final section of this course considers the process of revising and editing a written assessment piece, as well as recognizing a range of genres commonly used across the university. Practical tips and suggestions are provided to help with identifying features such as consistency, structure, paragraphing and formatting, as well as highlighting errors commonly made by students when writing.

What you’ll learn

At the end of the course, it is expected that you will be able to:

  • Describe the general structure of an argumentative essay
  • Locate, organise and analyse information in order to plan for a written assignment
  • Communicate ideas and arguments clearly and fluently in written form
  • Use appropriate academic conventions when writing, including the use of specific genre features, academic stance and voice, formal tone, and acknowledgement of academic sources through APA referencing conventions
  • Review written assessment in order to identify areas for improvement.

About the instructors

Peter Crosthwaite

Senior Lecturer, School of Languages and Cultures at University of Queensland

Dr Peter Crosthwaite is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Queensland, having formerly been Assistant Professor at the Centre for Applied English Studies at the University of Hong Kong. He holds an MA in TESOL from the University of London and a Masters and Ph.D in applied linguistics from the University of Cambridge.

His areas of research include corpus linguistics, second language acquisition and the use of English for general and specific academic purposes. His work regularly appears in the Journal of English for Academic Purposes, and he has lengthy experience developing and teaching into EAP courses around the world.

About The University of Queensland UQx

Free online courses from The University of Queensland

The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia, is one of the world’s premier teaching and research institutions. Striving for excellence through the creation, preservation, transfer and application of knowledge UQ ranks in the top 50 Universities as measured by the QS World University Rankings. UQ is one of only three Australian members of the global Universitas 21 and a founding member of the Group of Eight (Go8) universities. UQ is recognised for its world standard specialised research and teaching excellence; having won more Australian Awards for University Teaching than any other in the country.

Founded in 1909 UQ is Queensland’s oldest university and has produced more than 250,000 graduates. UQ has a diverse community of over 51,000 students including 13,300 international students from 141 nations. It has one of Australia’s largest PhD enrolments, with more than 14,700 postgraduate students. UQ employs 6,700 staff spanning six faculties and eight research institutes.

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